This portrait illustrates the eldest son of the Ishii Brothers Ishii Genzo, who sought revenge for their parents in “The Iris Soga Story of the Bunroku Period (hana ayame omoino kanzashi)”, performed at the Miyako-za Theater in May 1794 (Kansei 6). The enemy Fujikawa Mizuemon killed Genzo. This work is uncommon among Sharaku’s half-body portraits, in that the hair at the temples has movement, as though it is swaying in the wind. Also, his technique of illustrating the curved hair is excellent: the hair framing his face adds to the sense of movement, making it really seem as though he is fighting against the enemy. He tightens up his lips, glares forward, and has a serious look in his eyes: these express his deep, solid vindictiveness towards the enemy. The diagonally held sword cutting across the screen is also impressive. This structure unifies the entire screen and feels almost rhythmical. The black kimono with white silk underwear and beige drape style area is subtle, but nonetheless effective in creating the whole scene.
Mitsugoro Bando II travelled to Tokyo to pursue his acting career in 1774 (Anei 4). He took over the name of Mitsugoro I. Because Mitsugoro I’s son had a long life, Mitsugoro II returned the name to Mitsugoro I’s son in 1799 (Kansei 11). After that, he named himself Isaburo Ogino II. He died in 1829 (Bunsei 12) at the age of 80.